Many senior military officials from around the globe have warned that as climate change continues to affect our planet the impact that it may have on human migration could be amazing in its scale.
One of the largest factors that will continue to contribute to the flood of refugees from poorer nations is the rising sea levels.
Munir Muniruzzaman, the Chair of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change described the flow of refugees as “unimaginable” and also mentioned that if sea levels rise just one meter, one fifth of Bangladesh would be underwater.
Bangladesh is a country with a population of over 150 million people, and many of them live near coastal areas. His use of words was apt, and it would be almost impossible for us to envision the tide of refugees and human misery that would follow in the wake of one fifth of Bangladesh being consumed by the sea.
But that is only one example of many, and it is not at all inconceivable that any number of coastal cities would suffer similar fates. The obvious question is what would happen to all of the people, and how would we deal with the loss of infrastructure that was taken over by the ocean.
There are of course no answers to questions like this, and almost any realistic scenario under those conditions is nightmarish.
The poorer countries do not have the resources to deal with their marginalized populations currently, and under the conditions we are facing there are not many options open to them.
Former Rear Admiral of the UK Maritime Forces, and current UK Climate and Energy Security Envoy to the UN Niel Morisetti noted that climate change is a present threat to global security, and that it should under no circumstances be seen as anything but that.
With senior military officials from all over the globe showing such dire concerns so openly, we really must wonder what is in store for the poorest and most vulnerable among us.
Identifying the challenges is far easier that finding solutions, but the time for us to begin to plan for extremely undesirable events is here.
If any of these scenarios begin to play out, we must do our very best to meet them head-on.
Ignoring these challenges will not make them go away.